Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This is also an old post that never made it to published stage. This one, however, is only about a month or two old.

I grew up in a ‘pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps’ kind of family. You were supposed to be able to figure a way into and out of every situation life could possibly bring to or throw at you. You always put on a good face for the outside world and you got it done. Period.

I remember my 16th birthday pretty clearly. I had been feeling pretty rough for a couple of days previously, but I woke up the morning of my birthday sick as a dog: fever, chills, headache, body aches, burning eyes, sore throat… the works. Naturally you’d think I stayed home from school. But no, there was more to it than that. I had Driver’s Ed after school, and you couldn’t go to Driver’s Ed if you hadn’t been in school that day (apparently they don’t want people who play hooky to be on the roads). If you missed a day of Driver’s Ed, you had to go to one of their training centers to make up the day before you could get your permit. I couldn’t go to any of the make-up sessions because every single one conflicted with a dance rehearsal. In fact, the only reason I had taken this particular session of Driver’s Ed was because I could squeeze it in between school and dance every day. So… I went to school… and to Driver’s Ed… and sometime that night in the middle of my family birthday party, my dad and I went into urgent care to find out for sure that, yes indeed, I had the flu and strep throat.

But I didn’t have to make up any Driver’s Ed, dagnabit.

Of course, the stage of life I find myself in now goes completely against all of that. I was laid off last year because of budget cuts in the district, and apparently it’s just a bad time to be a teacher in the Twin Cities, because I didn’t get another full-time job and I’m back to subbing. That’s fine, except that you don’t get sub calls the first couple days of school. Which means you don’t get a paycheck until the end of the first month, and in the meantime your pay (and insurance) from your last job have run out. In this case, ‘you’ refers to ‘me.’

So my rent ran out on my old apartment, and I’m completely out of money. Here’s where the charity comes in. I’m staying with a couple from church until I can find a new apartment, my parents are paying my loan bills, and I’m driving on a gas card from the Deacon board. It’s a very humbling experience to have to ask for help, and especially a lot of it.

But it’s also overwhelming to learn just how much the people around you love you. It’s Christian fellowship in action.

I never understand people who say they find it easier to believe in God when everything is going well, but doubt His existence when things start going downhill. I find the opposite to be true. Like now, the more I struggle, the more real God is.

But that idea is another post…


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